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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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256
To Horace Mann
[1742
As I came home last night, they told me there was a fire in Downing Street; when I came to Whitehall, I could not get to the end of the street in my chariot, for the crowd: when I got out, the first thing I heard was a man enjoying himself: 'Well! if it lasts two hours longer, Sir Robert Walpole's house will be burned to the ground!' it was a very comfortable hearing! but I found the fire was on the opposite side of the way, and at a good distance. I stood in the crowd an hour to hear their discourse : one man was relating at how many fires he had happened to be present, and did not think himself at all unlucky in passing by, just at this. What diverted me most, was a servant-maid, who was working, and carrying pails of water, with the strength of half a dozen troopers, and swearing the mob out of her way—the soft creature's name was Phillis ! When I arrived at our door, I found the house full of goods, beds, women, and children, and three Scotch members of Parliament, who lodge in the row, and who had sent in a saddle, a flitch of bacon, and a bottle of ink. There was no wind, and the house was saved, with the loss of only its garret, and the furniture.
I forgot to mention the Dominichin last post, as I suppose I had before, for I always was for your buying it; it is one of the most engaging pictures I ever saw. I have no qualms about its originality; and even if Sir Eobert should not like it when it comes, which is impossible, I think I would live upon a flitch of bacon and a bottle of ink, rather than not spare the money to buy it myself: so, my dear Sir, buy it. .. Your brother has this moment brought me a letter: I find by it, that you are veiy old style with relation to the Prussian peace. Why, we have sent Robinson17 a red and
17 Sir Thomas Hobinson, Minister     by, Yorkshire; or. Baron G-rantham,
at Vienna; he was 'made Secretary     1761; Secretary to the Embassy at
of State in 1754.    Walpole.—Fourth     Paris,  1723-80 ;   Envoy to Vienna,
son of Sir William Robinson, of New-     1730-48; K.B., 1742;  Joint Pleni-